Understanding of the modern game
Mike Zimmer is an old-school coach and his old-school approach just doesn’t work in today’s NFL. His defense once baffled offenses and confused quarterbacks, but it seems the Double A-gap attack has been solved to the point where even an inexperienced backup quarterback like Cooper Rush can come in and have success against it.
Zimmer failed to mix things up on defense and that came back to bite him. Teams like the Los Angeles Rams move their talent all across the line. Aaron Donald lined up in at least four different spots when he faced the Vikings which confused their blocking assignments.
Offensively, we are seeing teams do all kinds of crazy stuff with run-pass options and crazy motion in the backfield with wide receivers.
The Kansas City Cheifs are the best at this, as they move Tyreek Hill all around so defenses don’t know where he’s going to line up. Games aren’t won by defense anymore and oftentimes, 30-plus points are needed to get wins.
The modern game also has become a game of chance. Teams listen to the analytics and more often than not, they go for it on fourth down. The days of punting the ball on 4th-and-1 from your own 35 are long over.
Zimmer failed to adapt and now he’s without a job. Minnesota’s new head coach needs to understand how the modern game works.
The Vikings offensive needs to be fresh and creative, the defense needs to throw different looks out there and move personnel around, and to win games, they have to go for it on fourth down. A fresh young head coach will be aware of this and could be extra attractive to whoever is making the final decision.